tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 25, 2018 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
on this sunday night, an exclusive conversation with the president's daughter as she takes the world stage in south korea. ivanka trump weighs in on one of her father's most controversial proposals. students in florida return to the school where a gunman killed 17 of their classmates and teachers. tonight, calls f local sheriff to lose his job over the response. severe storms slammed the midwest as communities are left underwater. economic change blowing into an unlikely place, we'll take you to the state seeing a big boost from renewable energy. and going out in style with the winter games coming to a close, we'll look at some of team usa's biggest moments as pyeongchang prepares to pass the torch to
tokyo for the 2020 summer olympics. this is nbc nightly news with kate snow. >> good evening, we begin tonight with an exclusive interview with the president's representative at the close of the winter olympics in south korea, his daughter, ivanka trump. she stood and applauded as south and north korean athletes paraded past at the closing ceremony, a contrast to the vice president two weeks ago at the opening ceremony, who remained seated. today, north korea indicated it is open to talks with the u.s., but new u.s. sanctions against the regime were met with a heated response this weekend. our peter alexander talked exclusively with ivanka trump. >> reporter: she's the american ambassador to the games. how's it ben? >> unbelievable. it's been an amazing experience to be able to interact with so many athletes and to get to the games and get to see the men's curling take home gold for the first time,
and i learned -- >> ever seen curling before? >> i had not, but i got an education last night, and it was awesome. >> reporter: her visit here not exclusively for ceremony, delivering a message of unity to a crucial u.s. ally. >> we are miles away from north korea, so affirming the u.s. position and our joint position of maximum pressure with our south korean partners is very important. >> reporter: after kim jong un's sister was at the opening ceremony, local media called her north korea's ivanka. >> is that a fair comparison? >> i don't think so. i far prefer to be compared to my sisters here in south korea who are thriving this this democracy. >> reporter: addressing the debate at home, following the parkland massacre and the father's controversial suggestion that some teachers should carry guns. >> you're a million of three young children. do you believe arming teachers would make children safer?
>> to be honest, i don't know. obviously, there would have to be an incredibly high standard so who can bear arms in our school, but i think if there is no one solution to creating safety. >> reporter: advising your dad on this and other topics? >> i think that having a teacher who is armed, who cares deeply about his or her students and who is capable and qualified to bear arms is not a bad idea, but it's an idea that needs discussion. >> reporter: keeping students safe, what the first daughter insists, should be our top priority. peter alexander, nbc news, pyeongchang. >> that proposal to arm teachers sparked by the deadly school shooting in florida. today, the final funeral held for one of the victims. emotions running high as students prepare to go back to class for the first time, and now there's new calls to oust the sheriff
who oversaw the response. we have the latest in parkland. >> reporter: for the first time since the massacre, which saw 17 killed and more than a dozen injured, students and parents entered stoneman d douglas high school. >> mixed emotions, nerves, it's scary coming back, but we're all together. >> reporter: counselors here to ease anxious students and their parents back on to campus. >> it's a forever pit hole in your gut. this is the new normal. >> reporter: the painful homecoming comes on the heels of a new controversy surrounding the police response to the shooting. local officers claim three sheriff deputies did not enter the building for the majority of the shooting taking place. the sheriff, scott israel, told nbc his office is investigating. >> right now, i'm not going to tell you that other sheriff deputies did not go in when they should have, but i'm not going to say the opposite either. we are going to investigate. we're going to do it thoroughly and
comprehensively. >> reporter: they won't do it alone. florida's governor today asked the state to investigate the response to the shooting too. back at stoneman douglas, a struggle to find comfort. >> when you feel unsafe in our own school, so, hopefully, we can feel safe again. >> reporter: and the familiar. >> sad because 17 lives were lost, but i hope it never happens again. >> not seeing the classmates there is upsetting, but this is the start of change. >> reporter: late today, the florida house speaker and 73 of his colleagues sent a letter to the governor asking to suspend the sheriff for incompetence. as of now, he has not sus pe suspended him. kate? >> thank you. severe storms raged through the midwest overnight killing at least five people. now communities throughout the region deal with widespread damage and devastation, and nbc has more in hard hit osceola, arkansas.
>> reporter: overnight, deadly weather roared across the midwest with five tornados ripping from tennessee, missouri, and kentucky. a funnel cloud spotted in southwest kentucky, and in hopkinsville, powerful storms tore roofs off buildings. this lightling strike damaged the roof forcing evacuation. in arkansas, winds ripped apart this hotel. >> it's scary. it's really scary. >> reporter: the next town over, keiser, lost part of the library's roof. these two houses suffered similar fates, collapsed foundations. in ohio, winds uprooted trees, damaged buildings and cars. tonight, residents in louisville still face severe flooding with homes and roads submerged. the city's fire division responded to more than 100 water rescue calls over the past 48 hours. communities throughout the midwest tonight
surveying the devastation, coming together to recover. here's a little better look tonight of the heavily damaged motel. you can see the roof was completely sheered off, part of the wall peeled back like a sardine can. the deaths are the first in the country since last may associated with this storm, the longest stretch between deadly tornados on record. kate? >> thank you. growing questions about why one of the president's most trusted advisers still does not have a full security clearance more than a year after president trump took office. his son-in-law, jared kushner, has a broad portfolio of duties, but with the new policy set to take effect in the white house, will kushner keep his access to the classified secrets of the nation? >> reporter: rarely heard in public. >> i'm jared kushner, senior adviser to president donald j. trump. >> reporter: ability to see the nation's
most guarded secrets now in jeopardy. >> jared's done an outstanding job and treated unfairly. >> reporter: the most inside of insiders. the 37-year-old kushner, husband of ivanka trump, does not have permanent, high level security clearance. >> there's nothing normal about a senior adviser having an interim clearance for more than a year. >> reporter: the "washington post" reports a top justice official, rob rosenstein who oversees the russian investigation took an unusual step of calling the white house counsel in early february to deliver a warning. kushner's background check hit a serious, but unspecified snag. >> people described this conversation as basically a status update. others have said it was a houston, we have a problem moment. >> reporter: friday, chief of staff john kelly put in place new policies, tightening access to secrets for staffers without permanent clearance. president trump was asked if he would waive the rules for
his son-in-law. >> i will let general kelly make that decision, and he's going to do what's right for the country, and i have no doubt he'll make the right decision. >> reporter: kushner has been interviewed by the special counsel, and he says he has no improper contacts with russia. as a campaign official, he attended the june 2016 trump tower meeting with a russian lawyer and others. democrating raised concerns that kushner's vast foreign business interests pose a conflict. >> if general kelly wants to keep his job, he'll make the president happy allowing jared kushner to have this clearance. >> reporter: aides to indicates have not commented on the clearance, and they said in a statement he has full confidence in kushner and will be able to do his work on issues like the palestinian peace and also u.s. relationship with mexico. the white house has not explained if or
how he could carry out those responsibilities without the top level permanent clearance. kate? >> kelly at the white house, thank you. overseas, a new proposal could pave the way for the leader of the world's most populated country to remain in power longer than expected. china is considering whether to lift its two-term limit for its president xi. he's been in office since 2013. the change could make him the most powerful leader in china since the reign of his predecessor. flames on a plane spark concerns about the lithium batteries that power our gadgets. question tonight whether they are actually safe to bring on board. >> reporter: minutes before takeoff, social media video captures a carry-on bag on fire aboard a china southern airlines plane. doused with bottles of water and juice. the airline said the charging device, not in use, caught fire. last month, a similar, but more serious incident on a russian
plane. everyone evacuated safely. the latest on board fires highlighting hazards of the lithium ion batteries on planes. everywhere now powering laptops and smart bags. the faa tracking nearly 200 fires since 1991 prompting the agency to tell passengers not to pack the batteries in checked bags. the concern is that the fire could spread very rapidly in the closed compartment. s cargo compartment, and catch other materials on fire. >> reporter: just last month in a denver airport, tsa check point, fire breaks out in a bag getting screened. ron allen, nbc news. wind farms have been a growing trend in our country for years, and now the renewable energy technology is finding a home in an unexpected place, nbc takes us to the deep red state that is reaping the benefits. >> reporter: in roscoe, a small town
200 miles west of dallas, farmers relied on cotton as the cash crop, but now change is in the air. your family for generations was involved in the cotton business here in roscoe. now you're involved in the wind business. >> correct. >> reporter: how did that happen? >> approached by electricity, who is now owned by'on, about 20 years ago. far exceeds my expectation. >> reporter: the german energy company operates more than 500 turbines in this part of texas on a patchwork quilt of leased land. the ion executive says when it comes to renewables, this red state known for oil, has been downright progressive with inacceptabilityives and infrastructure. they have their own grid and less regulation. >> texas has actually made wind energy a priority. >> reporter: although former governor of texas, rick perry, president trump's energy secretary, when it comes to energy policy, the trump administration and the state of texas are not on the same page. >> we have ended the war on american energy, and we have
ended the war on beautiful, clean coal. >> reporter: green energy advocates want president trump to widen his focus. what would you say to him about renewable energy? >> it's been schizophrenic. shocking the president has been inconsistent. >> reporter: talking about the resurging coal industry in the u.s., that industry employees 51,000 workers. by comparison, the wind industry employs almost twice that, and there's some 84,000 wind turbines like these across the united states. states are stepping up. new york wants to harness enough offshore wind energy by 2030 to power 1.2 million homes. in west texas, renewable energy is an economic boom. >> they contributed to the school, to the community, the tax base, and it's been a big, big help. >> reporter: land owners here have embraced the wind and the change it's blown in. nbc news, roscoe,
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accusations in the basketball program as we are a couple weeks away from the start of march madness. >> the oregon ducks. >> reporter: the university of arizona lost three times last night, once to the oregon ducks, again as they lost top recruit o'neil, shaq's son, tweeting he's looking at other options, and, finally, losing head coach miller, sitting out last night's game on espn. >> up to arizona to decide what to do. >> reporter: after espn reported they caught miller on a wiretap talking about a $100,000 payment to a freshman star. miller denied offering payment saying he's confident he will be vindicated. the athlete's family told espn he had not discuss payments to play. the arizona scandal is on the heels after bomb shell report from yahoo! sports naming 20 division 1 colleges in an investigation that yahoo! said
includes hundreds of thousands of cash advances and inflated travel expenses shown in court documents. the report has the ncaa playing defense again, just months after the university of louisville bribery scandal -- >> coach, did they fire you? >> reporter: two weeks before the march madness tournament. >> this year will be more difficult to explain away the elephant in the room and fact that college basketball coaches may be paying $100,000 for recruits. >> reporter: ncaa president mark em emirates says if this is true, it's systematic failures that must be fixed and fixed now. others say the ncaa is overdue for a reckoning. >> we have to drop the idea these are amateurs. they are not. they are just pros in waiting. >> reporter: a big money lead paying players only in presti prestige. matt bradley, nbc news. up next, from the slopes to the surf, back in a moment with a look ahead to tokyo and the new events we can look forward to at the summer olympics
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a sneak peek what we'll watch an hour from now in prime time. the winter olympics officially coming to an end in pyeongchang, and from the closing ceremony promises another bright and thrilling spectacle from south korea. with this year's competition wrapping up now, we shift gears and seasons, tokyo hosting the 2020 summer games, with new events bringing even nor athletes together on the world stage. we headed to japan for a preview of what's to come. >> reporter: fast pace, pulsing, japan's
historic capital fuses old with new, and in two years, it will stage the olympics for the second time with four new sports, surfing, climbing, karate, and skate boarding. 13-year-old took in the action in pyeongchang from home. >> i was watching the girl's snowboarding. that was crazy. >> reporter: in 2020, she could win her sport's first olympic got. >> it's girls skating in the olympics, and that's just incredible that i'm really proud about that. >> reporter: the medals up for grabs in tokyo are made from recycled cell phones, organizers collecting them now. the last time the games were staged here was 1964. as a young man back then, this professor worked as a translater. what was the atmosphere like? >> yeah. >> reporter: during the games in tokyo? >> oh, i would say it was really great, very, very special because japan was
growing. >> reporter: venues refurbished, others built from scratch, and while some baseball and softball games are played in fukushima, the area hit by a earthquake and tsunami in 2011. the 1994 olympics highlighted japan's transformation. these games, they say, will look to the future in this ever-changing region. from pyeongchang to tokyo, in just two years, the olympic spotlight will shine on asia once again. nbc news, tokyo. >> i can't believe that's just two years away. when we come back, sweet success in south korea. a look back at the shining moments we'll all remember from po pyeongchang
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finally, tonight, our american athletes put on quite a show in south korea. team usa finished the winter games fourth in the medal count with norway taking top honors, more than half the overall medals earned by our female athletes, by the way, and nbc's joe friar looks back at the exciting two weeks marked by milestones and surprising firsts. >> reporter: every four years, we turn sheets of ice and snow-topped slopes into stages illumina illuminated by a global spotlight. >> comes around, back-to-back 1080s. >> reporter: where new stars soar. and veterans like jamie anderson.
shaun white find olympic greatness one more time. >> front side 12, perfect. >> my fourth olympics, three golds. >> reporter: and where an icon like lindsey von scores another downhill medal, a bronze, in honor of her grandfather who died in november. >> i wanted to win so much because of him, but i still think i made him proud. >> reporter: where history is rewritten. jessi and randall winning team usa's first gold medal in cross country skiing. and a down-to-earth group of guys once labeled rejects grabbing america's only gold in curling. and with a driven women's hockey squad erasing a 20-year gold medal drought divesting their greatest rival. >> the united states wins gold in pyeongchang! >> reporter: it's where a young man like nathan chen can fall to a men's pressure one day --
>> wow, a major mistake there. >> reporter: and rise -- >> are you kidding me? >> he's superhuman. >> reporter: and redeem himself the next. >> and another quad toe. >> reporter: and another chapter of olympic moments forever etched in snow and ice. nbc news, pyeongchang. >> makes you proud. that is nbc "nightly news" on sunday night, and lester holt will be in tomorrow. the final night of olympic broadcast gets underway minutes from now. i'm kate snow, and from all of us here at nbc news, have a great night.